1998-02-10 - Re: Cyber ‘Nannys”

Header Data

From: “WebWarrior3@InfoWar.Com” <WebWarrior3@InfoWar.Com>
To: Tim May <tcmay@got.net>
Message Hash: 11c9f1c4e33f960c02169b3ecfcf5e50c09c56e94fcbb6d025d54e70ec0bbd71
Message ID: <34E0C6DD.250A38FB@InfoWar.Com>
Reply To: <v03102804b105af4a91ed@[]>
UTC Datetime: 1998-02-10 21:38:03 UTC
Raw Date: Wed, 11 Feb 1998 05:38:03 +0800

Raw message

From: "WebWarrior3@InfoWar.Com" <WebWarrior3@InfoWar.Com>
Date: Wed, 11 Feb 1998 05:38:03 +0800
To: Tim May <tcmay@got.net>
Subject: Re: Cyber 'Nannys"
In-Reply-To: <v03102804b105af4a91ed@[]>
Message-ID: <34E0C6DD.250A38FB@InfoWar.Com>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

Tim May wrote:

> I suppose that your point is that the UCC somehow relates to your argument
> that filtering companies must supply customers with their filtering
> criteria?
> This is a serious distortion of the UCC, and, if applied, would mean:
> -- a chip company would have to provide the internal workings of chips
> sold, else they would be violating the disclosure laws

I hardly think that the parameters they choose to use can be construed as a trade

> -- a restaurant critic (analagous to a net.nanny filter, essentially) would
> have to provide access to his selection criteria

Restaurant critics do supply criteria, this, once again, is not a trade secret.
What is more, this is not analogous to filtering packages.  A critic will provide
information on both what he or she likes and dislikes as well as the location and
name of the restaurant.  They make recommendations which their 'readers' (not
customers) can choose to follow or ignore.

> -- the editor of any magazine or newspaper would have to explain his
> reasons for reporting some stories and not others, for including some
> editorial remarks and not others, and so on.

As I said before, when one subscribes to a periodical, one has a good idea of
what is within their editorial policy.  It would be unreasonable to expect a
publisher to provide every potential story.  Whereas, it would not be
unreasonable to expect a magazine on Anthropology to publish an article on a
recent discovery of major scientific import.

> My point about "absent a contract" is that sometimes there _are_
> arrangements to supply internal workings of chips, restaurant selection
> criteria, etc. If there are such arrangements, then a customer can sue to
> get performance. But absent such prearrangements, a customer cannot
> generally demand information on how products were built, on what went into
> them, and so on.

Equating a decision of what material is what is not acceptable  with the internal
schematics of chips is really far fetched.

People buy these packages (filtering software/services) with the understanding
that they will 'protect' their children from certain content.  Without being able
to look into what content is actually blocked a customer is being duped into a
false sense of security.  Additionally, they will never get to see what is
actually blocked.

> Except in a few cases (wrongly, I believe) involving food and drug
> products, under FDA rules.

So you don't think that ingredients should be labeled on pre-packaged food?
Shit, I guess you don't have any allergies.

> Importantly, there are absolutely no such
> requirements for labelling of "speech," or editorial decisions, which is
> precisely the service being provided by Cyber Sitter and Net Nanny types of
> services.

But CyberSitter ad Net Nanny DO label their editorial decisions by providing a
list of what TYPE of material they block, and as Declan pointed out, Net Nanny
provides a list.  They simply provide no proof that they actually do block sites
on any such basis.  The CyberSitter fiasco with Jonathan Wallace and Peacefire
last year is an example of material that is being blocked that does not fall into
line with their declared criteria.

> I believe any attempts to force, through law, the disclosure of editorial
> selection criteria would quickly be struck down by the courts as a
> violation of the First Amendment.

As stated above, they DO disclose the framework of their criteria, it is evidence
that these criteria are actually followed that is absent.

Scott R. Brower